Userplane Takes on Longtail Revenue Sharing with New 'Userplane Money' Program That Pays Publishers: Widget-Distribution Model Empowers Sites to Monetize Userplane Applications

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Userplane (http://www.userplane.com), the premier communication platform for online communities, today launched Userplane Money, a new revenue-sharing program that makes it easy for publishers to make more money online.

Over the last two years, just by offering Userplane tools for free, we've experienced and sustained phenomenal growth of about 5,000 new communities per week

    The Userplane(TM) platform serves ads in instant messaging, web chat and other widgets that more than 155,000 online communities, including MySpace, deploy. The new revenue-sharing model, the first of its kind among community platforms, gives participating sites a piece of this action.

"Web 2.0 is a mashup world where sites mix and match widgets at will - making widget distribution the next big thing in site monetization," said Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president, AOL. "Userplane is leading AOL's charge with feature-rich applications that increase user engagement. Paying publishers to use tools that many would gladly pay for is the icing on the cake."

"Over the last two years, just by offering Userplane tools for free, we've experienced and sustained phenomenal growth of about 5,000 new communities per week," said Michael Jones, CEO of Userplane and vice president of AOL. "We're counting on Userplane Money to explode our base into the millions, because we're telling publishers, 'Hey, you can make money off of this.'"

More than 1,000 sites joined Userplane Money during its beta period. Any Userplane-powered website using its Instant-Install community platform can sign up for Userplane Money merely by agreeing to the terms of service. Once a $25 minimum is met, publishers can request and receive their revenue share via PayPal.

Shift in Userplane's Business Model

Userplane Money represents the next evolution in strategy for the AOL subsidiary - from selling its tools to a subscriber base in 2003 to giving away a totally free, ad-supported version of its tools in 2005 to rewarding participating websites today.

The company now considers its core business to be distributing interactive applications to publishers of all stripes, so those sites can generate money.

Userplane attracts a wide variety of site publishers - from social-networking communities to dating sites to blogs to news sites. Its tools enable millions of daily users in more than 30 countries to communicate. AOL acquired Userplane last August.

About Userplane

A wholly owned subsidiary of AOL, Userplane is the world's premier communication platform for online communities. The company's hosted applications enable instant community and communication for websites of any scale and audience. The combination of instant and elegant with robust and powerful has made the platform a must-have for thriving sites worldwide - supporting millions of daily users. Founded in 2001 by long-time partners Michael Jones, Nate Thelen, and Javier Hall, Userplane is a diverse and talented team headquartered in Santa Monica, Calif.

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Ken Greenberg
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